Clevelanders Feel Out-of-Towners Getting Good Seats
Mike B. | On 04, Feb 2016
August 16, 1948
As the Indians begin to open a six-game home stand tomorrow, Indians president Bill Veeck has a message for fans. If you want good seats for any of the remaining 27 home games, you had better buy tickets early.
An example was last weekend’s doubleheader with the New York Yankees on August 8. Veeck claims the game was sold out of reserved seats over two months ago.
“We had sold 20,000 seats for that game before the season opened,” Veeck said. “By May 1 we had sold 35,000. By June 1 we were sold out. I mean we’re sold out of box and reserved seats.”
Clevelanders have complained tickets are sold to out-of-town fans before they are available to fans inside the city limits. According to Veeck all fans have the same chance to purchase tickets, it just seems that fans traveling a longer distance to Municipal Stadium are better at planning ahead.
“That isn’t true, of course,” Veeck said. “But it’s a fact that out-of-town customers habitually get their orders in earlier than Cleveland people. They plan farther ahead. As soon as the league schedule comes out in late winter people in Millersburg or Wellington or Lima sit down and plan when they’ll come to Cleveland for a day of baseball.”
“They see there’s a doubleheader with the Yankees scheduled on August 8 and write their ticket order immediately. Cleveland people haven’t got that habit. They wait until the week of a big game, or even the day of the game, and expect to be able to buy good seats. They can’t do it. We file ticket requests in the order in which we receive them and when the tickets are available we fill them in that order.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer received a letter from a fan in Norwalk three weeks ago, claiming he had requested tickets from the Indians for the August 8 game, but had his order and check returned because no tickets were available. The fan’s letter contested that he was convinced the Indians were giving him an unnecessary runaround and that he would not ever attend another game if this is how they did business.
“I know he thought we were lying,” Veeck said, “and I’m not sure I blame him. They always think we’re lying when we report that we’re sold out weeks or months in advance of a game. People know we’ve got the world’s biggest baseball stadium and they can’t believe so many others beat them to the punch in ordering tickets. But even a big stadium has a limit to its capacity, and our limit has been reached weeks ahead of a game several times.”
Cleveland opens a six-game homestand this week with games against St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. After an off day on Thursday, the Indians play Friday night against the Chicago White Sox, followed by a day game Saturday and Sunday afternoon doubleheader.
While this homestand does not carry the same punch as the last one with the Yankees and Red Sox, Veeck warns it still isn’t a guarantee great seats will be available at the box office on game day.
Cleveland has drawn over 70,000 for games against the Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators this season.
Photo: Cleveland Memory Project